The Florida A&M University Annual President’s Toy Drive collected 1,097 gifts, including 90 bicycles, to distribute to Tallahassee youngsters for Christmas.
The donations from 192 individuals represent a record, surpassing the 700 gifts, including 70 bicycles, donated in 2019.
“I am thankful for the generosity of the administrators, staff, faculty, students, retirees, alumni and community members who stepped up to bring holiday cheer to our area youngsters,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., who greeted donors as they dropped off toys at the President’s House on Dec. 4.
“This has been a very difficult year and many families are struggling to make ends meet,” Robinson added. “These gifts will help lift young hearts and bring some joy into homes this holiday season.”
Toys will go to families who requested help for their children, grandparents raising grandchildren, children whose parents are incarcerated and others.
Vernon Bryant, who coordinated the toy drive, credited 100 percent giving by the University’s Senior Leadership Team and deans. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of people working on campus daily, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of generosity. On Monday, members of the Dream Defenders donated more gifts.
“We outdid ourselves despite COVID-19,” said Bryant, who is public events coordinator in the FAMU Office of Communications.